Vain

I clearly remember the day — some 30 years ago — when I realized that the Muzak they were playing in the background at the grocery store in which I was shopping wasn’t Perry Como or Montovani, as I was used to hearing. Instead, it was the music I sang and danced to in high school. That was the first time I remember thinking “I’m getting old.”

The other morning I was grocery shopping at our nearby Basha’s. It was early, just after 7 o’clock because I wanted to be done before it became too hot to walk to and from. Because of this, there were very few people in the store. As I made my way past the dairy, the song You’re So Vain began playing over the intercom as background music. I have always liked that song, and know every word. Without stopping to think, I began singing along. I wasn’t singing loudly; I was, however, singing loud enough that someone close by would hear me. People! The store was empty. Suddenly, around the corner came a woman about my age pushing a cart and holding the hand of someone that I presume must have been her grandson. She was singing along to the song as well.

I started to laugh, and so did she. “I guess they are playing music for Baby Boomers,” I said to her. She smiled back and agreed. “It was the best music,” she said. “And I always liked this song, and Roberta Flack.”

“Oh, oh,” I thought. “Should I let her error go uncorrected? After all, in the scheme of life, it doesn’t matter that it certainly isn’t Roberta Flack singing this song. And I’ll never see this woman again. So I should let it go.”

My friends, I was unable to let the error go without correction.

“I think that’s Carly Simon singing,” I said.

She agreed sheepishly, and went her merry way. She was probably thinking you’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you.

Have a great weekend.

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